Smad6 is essential to limit BMP signaling during cartilage development.
ABSTRACT: Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathways regulate multiple aspects of endochondral bone formation. The importance of extracellular antagonists as regulators of BMP signaling has been defined. In vitro studies reveal that the intracellular regulators, inhibitory Smads 6 and 7, can regulate BMP-mediated effects on chondrocytes. Although in vivo studies in which inhibitory Smads were overexpressed in cartilage have shown that inhibitory Smads have the potential to limit BMP signaling in vivo, the physiological relevance of inhibitory Smad activity in skeletal tissues is unknown. In this study, we have determined the role of Smad6 in endochondral bone formation. Loss of Smad6 in mice leads to defects in both axial and appendicular skeletal development. Specifically, Smad6-/- mice exhibit a posterior transformation of the seventh cervical vertebra, bilateral ossification centers in lumbar vertebrae, and bifid sternebrae due to incomplete sternal band fusion. Histological analysis of appendicular bones revealed delayed onset of hypertrophic differentiation and mineralization at midgestation in Smad6-/- mice. By late gestation, however, an expanded hypertrophic zone, associated with an increased pool of proliferating cells undergoing hypertrophy, was evident in Smad6 mutant growth plates. The mutant phenotype is attributed, at least in part, to increased BMP responsiveness in Smad6-deficient chondrocytes. Overall, our results show that Smad6 is required to limit BMP signaling during endochondral bone formation.
Project description:Kinase activation and substrate phosphorylation commonly form the backbone of signaling cascades. Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), a subclass of TGF-? family ligands, induce activation of their signaling effectors, the Smads, through C-terminal phosphorylation by transmembrane receptor kinases. However, the slow kinetics of Smad activation in response to BMP suggests a preceding step in the initiation of BMP signaling. We now show that arginine methylation, which is known to regulate gene expression, yet also modifies some signaling mediators, initiates BMP-induced Smad signaling. BMP-induced receptor complex formation promotes interaction of the methyltransferase PRMT1 with the inhibitory Smad6, resulting in Smad6 methylation and relocalization at the receptor, leading to activation of effector Smads through phosphorylation. PRMT1 is required for BMP-induced biological responses across species, as evidenced by the role of its ortholog Dart1 in BMP signaling during Drosophila wing development. Activation of signaling by arginine methylation may also apply to other signaling pathways.
Project description:Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling is required for endochondral bone formation. However, whether or not the effects of BMPs are mediated via canonical Smad pathways or through noncanonical pathways is unknown. In this study we have determined the role of receptor Smads 1, 5 and 8 in chondrogenesis. Deletion of individual Smads results in viable and fertile mice. Combined loss of Smads 1, 5 and 8, however, results in severe chondrodysplasia. Smad1/5(CKO) (cartilage-specific knockout) mutant mice are nearly identical to Smad1/5(CKO);Smad8(-/-) mutants, indicating that Smads 1 and 5 have overlapping functions and are more important than Smad8 in cartilage. The Smad1/5(CKO) phenotype is more severe than that of Smad4(CKO) mice, challenging the dogma, at least in chondrocytes, that Smad4 is required to mediate Smad signaling through BMP pathways. The chondrodysplasia in Smad1/5(CKO) mice is accompanied by imbalances in cross-talk between the BMP, FGF and Ihh/PTHrP pathways. We show that Ihh is a direct target of BMP pathways in chondrocytes, and that FGF exerts antagonistic effects on Ihh expression. Finally, we tested whether FGF exerts its antagonistic effects directly through Smad linker phosphorylation. The results support the alternative conclusion that the effects of FGFs on BMP signaling are indirect in vivo.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play critical roles in a variety of biological processes in diverse organisms, including mammals. In the mouse skeletal system, a global reduction of miRNAs in chondrocytes causes a lethal skeletal dysplasia. However, little is known about the physiological roles of individual miRNAs in chondrocytes. The miRNA-encoding gene, Mir140, is evolutionarily conserved among vertebrates and is abundantly and almost exclusively expressed in chondrocytes. In this paper, we show that loss of Mir140 in mice causes growth defects of endochondral bones, resulting in dwarfism and craniofacial deformities. Endochondral bone development is mildly advanced due to accelerated hypertrophic differentiation of chondrocytes in Mir140-null mice. Comparison of profiles of RNA associated with Argonaute 2 (Ago2) between wild-type and Mir140-null chondrocytes identified Dnpep as a Mir140 target. As expected, Dnpep expression was increased in Mir140-null chondrocytes. Dnpep overexpression showed a mild antagonistic effect on bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling at a position downstream of Smad activation. Mir140-null chondrocytes showed lower-than-normal basal BMP signaling, which was reversed by Dnpep knockdown. These results demonstrate that Mir140 is essential for normal endochondral bone development and suggest that the reduced BMP signaling caused by Dnpep upregulation plays a causal role in the skeletal defects of Mir140-null mice.
Project description:Growth of the axial and appendicular skeleton depends on endochondral ossification, which is controlled by tightly regulated cell-cell interactions in the developing growth plates. Previous studies have uncovered an important role of a disintegrin and metalloprotease 17 (ADAM17) in the normal development of the mineralized zone of hypertrophic chondrocytes during endochondral ossification. ADAM17 regulates EGF-receptor signaling by cleaving EGFR-ligands such as TGF? from their membrane-anchored precursor. The activity of ADAM17 is controlled by two regulatory binding partners, the inactive Rhomboids 1 and 2 (iRhom1, 2), raising questions about their role in endochondral ossification. To address this question, we generated mice lacking iRhom2 (<i>iR2-/-</i>) with floxed alleles of iRhom1 that were specifically deleted in chondrocytes by Col2a1-Cre (<i>iR1?Ch</i>). The resulting <i>iR2-/-iR1?Ch</i> mice had retarded bone growth compared to <i>iR2-/-</i> mice, caused by a significantly expanded zone of hypertrophic mineralizing chondrocytes in the growth plate. Primary <i>iR2-/-iR1?Ch</i> chondrocytes had strongly reduced shedding of TGF? and other ADAM17-dependent EGFR-ligands. The enlarged zone of mineralized hypertrophic chondrocytes in <i>iR2-/-iR1?Ch</i> mice closely resembled the abnormal growth plate in <i>A17?Ch</i> mice and was similar to growth plates in <i>Tgf?-/-</i> mice or mice with EGFR mutations. These data support a model in which iRhom1 and 2 regulate bone growth by controlling the ADAM17/TGF?/EGFR signaling axis during endochondral ossification.
Project description:Hypertrophic maturation of chondrocytes is a crucial step in endochondral ossification, whereas abnormally accelerated differentiation of hypertrophic chondrocytes in articular cartilage is linked to pathogenesis of osteoarthritis. This cellular process is promoted or inhibited by bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) or transforming growth factor-? (TGF-?) signaling, respectively, suggesting that these signaling pathways cross-talk during chondrocyte maturation. Here, we demonstrated that expression of Tgfb1 was increased, followed by phosphorylation of Smad2, during BMP-2-induced hypertrophic maturation of ATDC5 chondrocytes. Application of a TGF-? type I receptor inhibitor compound, SB431542, increased the expression of Id1, without affecting the phosphorylation status of Smad1/5/8, indicating that the activated endogenous TGF-? pathway inhibited BMP signaling downstream of the Smad activation step. We searched for TGF-?-inducible effectors that are able to inhibit BMP signaling in ATDC5 cells and identified SnoN. Overexpression of SnoN suppressed the activity of a BMP-responsive luciferase reporter in COS-7 cells as well as expression of Id1 in ATDC5 cells and, subsequently, the expression of Col10a1, a hallmark of hypertrophic chondrocyte maturation. siRNA-mediated loss of SnoN showed opposite effects in BMP-treated ATDC5 cells. In adult mice, we found the highest level of SnoN expression in articular cartilage. Importantly, SnoN was expressed, in combination with phosphorylated Smad2/3, in prehypertrophic chondrocytes in the growth plate of mouse embryo bones and in chondrocytes around the ectopically existing hypertrophic chondrocytes of human osteoarthritis cartilage. Our results indicate that SnoN mediates a negative feedback mechanism evoked by TGF-? to inhibit BMP signaling and, subsequently, hypertrophic maturation of chondrocytes.
Project description:Although bone morphogenic protein (BMP) signaling promotes chondrogenesis, it is not clear whether BMP-induced chondrocyte maturation is cell-autonomously terminated. Loss of function of Smpd3 in mice results in an increase in mature hypertrophic chondrocytes. Here, we report that in chondrocytes the Runx2-dependent expression of Smpd3 was increased by BMP-2 stimulation. Neutral sphingomyelinase 2 (nSMase2), encoded by the Smpd3 gene, was detected both in prehypertrophic and hypertrophic chondrocytes of mouse embryo bone cartilage. An siRNA for Smpd3, as well as the nSMase inhibitor GW4869, significantly enhanced BMP-2-induced differentiation and maturation of chondrocytes. Conversely, overexpression of Smpd3 or C2-ceramide, which mimics the function of nSMase2, inhibited chondrogenesis. Upon induction of Smpd3 siRNA or GW4869, phosphorylation of both Akt and S6 proteins was increased. The accelerated chondrogenesis induced by Smpd3 silencing was negated by application of the Akt inhibitor MK2206 or the mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor rapamycin. Importantly, in mouse bone culture, GW4869 treatment significantly promoted BMP-2-induced hypertrophic maturation and calcification of chondrocytes, which subsequently was eliminated by C2-ceramide. Smpd3 knockdown decreased the apoptosis of terminally matured ATDC5 chondrocytes, probably as a result of decreased ceramide production. In addition, we found that expression of hyaluronan synthase 2 (Has2) was elevated by a loss of Smpd3, which was restored by MK2206. Indeed, expression of Has2 protein decreased in nSMase2-positive hypertrophic chondrocytes in the bones of mouse embryos. Our data suggest that the Smpd3/nSMase2-ceramide-Akt signaling axis negatively regulates BMP-induced chondrocyte maturation and Has2 expression to control the rate of endochondral ossification as a negative feedback mechanism.
Project description:DNA methylation is a major mode of epigenetic regulation in the mammalian genome and is essential for embryonic development. The three catalytic DNA methyltransferases (Dnmts), Dnmt1, Dnmt3a, and Dnmt3b, catalyze the methylation of cytosine. Dnmt3b is highly expressed in chondrocytes and global knockout of Dnmt3b led to skeletal deformations and embryonic lethality, suggesting an essential role of Dnmt3b in endochondral bone formation. To further define the role of Dnmt3b in skeletal development, Dnmt3b was deleted in Col2 positive chondrocyte lineage cells. Both axial and appendicular skeletal size were reduced and bone mineralization was delayed in Col2Cre+ ;Dnmt3bf/f (Dnmt3bCol2 ) mice at E14.5 and E18.5. While Alcian Blue Hematoxylin/Orange G (ABH/OG) staining showed normal chondrocyte columns in control growth plates, the length of hypertrophic chondrocyte zone and type X collagen expression were decreased in E18.5 growth plates from Dnmt3bCol2 mice. TUNEL and PCNA staining demonstrated that the delay in chondrocyte maturation observed in the Dnmt3bCol2 growth plates was not secondary to altered chondrocyte apoptosis or proliferation. Complementary in vitro experiments were performed on primary sternal chondrocytes isolated from control and Dnmt3bCol2 mice. Gene expression studies confirmed delayed terminal maturation as Mmp13 and Col10a1 expression was down-regulated in Dnmt3bCol2 chondrocytes. In addition, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and Alizarin Red staining confirmed that Dnmt3b deletion in chondrocytes delays in vitro chondrocyte hypertrophic differentiation and matrix mineralization. Mechanistically, Dnmt3b gene deletion resulted in decreased BMP signaling through reduction of Smad1 phosphorylation. These findings show that epigenetic factor, Dnmt3b is necessary for normal chondrocyte hypertrophic maturation and limb development.
Project description:The inhibitory or negative Smads, Smad6 and Smad7, block TGFbeta superfamily signals of both the BMP and TGFbeta classes by antagonizing the intracellular signal transduction machinery. We report the cloning of one Smad6 and two Smad7 (Smad7a and Smad7b) chick homologs and their expression and regulation in the developing limb. Smad6 and Smad7a are expressed in dynamic patterns reflecting the domains of BMP gene expression in the limb. Activation and inhibition of the BMP signaling pathway in limb mesenchyme indicates that negative Smad gene expression is regulated, at least in part, by BMP family signals.
Project description:Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) play important roles at multiple stages of endochondral bone formation. However, the roles of BMP signaling in chondrocytes in vivo are still contentious. In the present study, we overexpressed a constitutively active BMP receptor 1A (caBmpr1a) in chondrocytes by using two systems: caBmpr1a was directly driven by a rat type II collagen promoter in a conventional transgenic system and indirectly driven in a UAS-Gal4 binary system. CaBmpr1a expression caused shortening of the columnar layer of proliferating chondrocytes and up-regulation of maturation markers, suggesting acceleration of differentiation of proliferating chondrocytes toward hypertrophic chondrocytes. In addition to the acceleration of chondrocyte differentiation, conventional transgenic mice showed widening of cartilage elements and morphological alteration of perichondrial cells, possibly due to stimulation of differentiation of prechondrogenic cells. Moreover, bigenic expression of caBmpr1a rescued the differentiation defect of prechondrogenic cells in Bmpr1b-null phalanges. This finding indicates that BMP signaling is necessary for phalangeal prechondrogenic cells to differentiate into chondrocytes and that signaling of BMP receptor 1B in this context is replaceable by that of a constitutively active BMP receptor 1A. These results suggest that BMP signaling in prechondrogenic cells and in growth plate chondrocytes stimulates their chondrocytic differentiation and maturation toward hypertrophy, respectively.
Project description:SMAD6 is a crucial feedback inhibitory regulator of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)/SMAD signalling. Although little is known regarding the post-transcriptional modification of inhibitory SMADs and the mechanism by which their function is regulated. In this study, using a whole proteomic interaction screen for SMAD6, we identified a large putative E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme UBE2O (E2-230K) as a novel interacting protein of SMAD6. We showed that UBE2O functions as an E2-E3 hybrid to monoubiquitinate SMAD6 at lysine 174 and that the cysteine 885 residue of human UBE2O is necessary for SMAD6 monoubiquitination. Inactivation of the SMAD6 monoubiquitination site specially potentiates the inhibitory ability of SMAD6 against BMP7-induced SMAD1 phosphorylation and transcriptional responses. We also found that UBE2O potentiated BMP7 signalling in a SMAD6-dependent manner. Addressing the molecular mechanism by which UBE2O and monoubiquitinated SMAD6 potentiate BMP7 signalling, we demonstrated that monoubiquitinated SMAD6 impairs the binding affinity of non-modified SMAD6 to the BMP type I receptor. Moreover, UBE2O and SMAD6 cooperated in the regulation of BMP7-induced adipogenesis.